05 October 2012

Audiobook Friday #1

Welcome to Audiobook Friday!

I love audiobooks, but for me they really don't get the attention they deserve in the book blogging world (well, at least in the corners I frequent) so I'm making Fridays here Audiobook Friday!  It might be a review, it might be some new releases or some audiobook news, or maybe a discussion - who knows!

To kick things off, I'm going to tell you why I love audiobooks, some of the downsides of audiobooks and I want you to tell me your feelings too.

Why do I love audiobooks?

I listened to my first audiobook in 2010.  I was sick at home with the flu, and all I wanted to do was space out on my sofa, but everything on TV was boring the pants off me, so I downloaded one just to see what it was like.

Multi-tasking Rules!

I didn't think I would be able to do anything whilst listening to an audiobook because it would break my concentration.  But if it's the right book, with the right narrator I can do quite a lot whilst listening along:

Commuting: I spend upwards of two hours a day on my commute too and from work, but I can't read on buses or trains (bleugh, motion sickness).  But I can listen to audiobooks and in fact they help my journey go much quicker.   I also listen when I'm walking somewhere (bad habit I know), particularly somewhere I'm familiar with so I'm just off in my own little world (and the book world!).

Cleaning: Ugh I hate cleaning, but because I don't have to use my brain to do it, I can listen to audiobooks at the same time, and if it's a really good book, I'll even *gasp* look for something else to clean just so I can keep listening.

When I'm Sick: I love audiobooks!  I can lay in my bed and close my eyes and have someone read TO me rather than try and hold up a book and focus on the words.

I admit, I was a complete skeptic - how can listening to a book possibly hold my attention like reading a book?  I suck at just 'sitting' so how could I just lay there and stare into space whilst someone with an annoying voice read a book to me?  But over a short time, I came to appreciate audiobooks hugely - I can listen to them on my commute because I can't read text (bleugh, motion sickness!), I can listen to them while doing boring chores and when I'm ill and just cannot face the thought of focusing on text.

The downsides of audiobooks

The Cost - Audiobooks can be really expensive, especially if you are buying them on CD.  But there are some cheaper (and free) ways to get your hands on some awesome audiobooks.

Firstly, Audible often has sales where you can pick up some bargain priced audiobooks for a limited time.  The selection is huge (although the cheaper ones tend to be limited to a certain genre, and newer-releases are rare) and if you try a couple of audiobooks and decide you want more, you can sign up for a monthly plan where you pay a certain amount and receive credits towards purchases.  This is the way I use Audible because 1 credit can be used for almost every book, whether its $5 or $35.

You can also buy audio-books as downloadable MP3 files from a lot of online book sellers (I stick to UK based sellers such as WH Smith and Books on Board (which also has a US site), but I'm sure there are plenty out there!), and borrow them from Overdrive, or most probably your local library.

The Narrators - One lesson that I've learnt the hard way is to listen to a sample before buying.  Some narrators are fantastic, others average and some made me want to scratch out my eyes with a rusty nail.  Now, I always listen to a sample to get a feel for whether the narrator fits the story, and also fits me!

So, over to you guys - do you listen to audiobooks?  If you do, what do you love about them?  If you don't, what about them doesn't work for you, or what turns you off them?


  1. Cleaning! Yup! That's pretty much the only way I can make myself clean is listening to an audio.

    Hell yeah on some narrators being so completely awful that you want to chop your ears off to make it stop. Also, I find that some make me want to take a little nap.

    I have a new audiobook review going up tomorrow! And I'm listening to Carnival of Souls right now!

    1. Oh the sleep-inducing ones suck :(
      Yay, I love audiobook reviews, I'll be over in a minute ;-)

  2. I like to listen to audiobooks on long drives and when I clean or workout.

    I hate it when women read the male parts but don't use a masculine voice.

    1. Definitely need a narrator who can do both well, otherwise it's just funny!

  3. Im an independant producer of audiobooks. You can check out my growing catalogue all priced 5USD or less at www.dynamic-ram.co.uk

  4. OMG I looooooove audiobook Fridays, because well, I love audiobooks!I gave them a try when I also had a very long commute and became totally hooked. I've even got my dad addicted to them (it's the only way he reads these days!). It's amazing how much they curbed my road rage tendencies, haha. And sometimes I find myself sitting in the car just waiting for that perfect place to stop--I just don't want to break away.

    Though they can be expensive, I buy mine on supersale and through audible, I think it's amazing how much new perspective they can give to a book that you can't get from just reading it yourself. And yes, the reader does make all the difference! I will buy audibooks (occasionally) just because I love the reader. A few of my go-tos are Barbara Rosenblat, Scott Brick and Rene Auberjonois. Oh! And another really interesting one is World War Z which is narrated by a full cast (which you don't see too often): Max Brooks, Henry Rollins, Mark Hammill, Carl Reiner, among others. Sooooo goood!

    1. Audiobooks make train delays just a little bit more bearable for me. And sometimes I actually wish for them so I can just stay cosy in my seat listening!

      I must listen to WWZ on audio, everyone tells me it's great, and I often listen to books I've already read just because I want to get that different perspective!

  5. I tend to get most of my audiobooks from overdrive. I just love them for driving, and when I'm sewing. Couldn't do without them.

    1. I can't use overdrive often - boo geographic restrictions!

  6. I love audio books, too, both CDs and downloads, and always have one playing in the car. My favorite narrators---Luke Daniels, Scott Brick, Jayne Entwistle and Stephen Briggs. Right now, I'm listening to Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.

    1. You're the second person to mention Scott Brick - I'm going to have to check him out!

  7. Yay!! I had wondered when one of my (around 200+) book bloggers & authors I follow would do something like this! Although I've been seeing more and more of them starting to review and love audiobooks, too. This is SO exciting! *bounces*
    Thank you!
    I adore audiobooks!!! I've had my Audible.com membership for over 2 years now. Today was my 2 credit day since I have the Platinum membership. I had started with the the I think Gold one for one credit, but soon I'd found out that wasn't enough. I also have an account at Tantor Audio, too.LOL
    I'm listening to The First Days (As The World Dies: A Zombie Trilogy #1)
    by Rhiannon Frater as I'm typing for the Frater-Fest read-a-thon that started today. ;)
    DeAnna Schultz

    1. I've been seeing more audiobook reviews too, and it's awesome! I also changed to Platinum membership because Gold wasn't enough!

      Must must must listen to The First Days on audio because I loved the book so much!

  8. I love audiobooks, because I can listen like you when I'm cleaning and I can even listen at work if I don't need to think too much. But more than anything, I just can't justify the price most of the time. If it's a book that I know I want to experience multiple times then I'll get the audiobook (even if I already have the paper or kindle copies).

    I'm digging this feature though. Looking forward to seeing more about this.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

    1. They are so hideously expensive, but I understand why.

      I love listening to books I've already read, it's great to get a different perspective!



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